in My Work, Research – Sound Art

NTTDocomo: Xylophone

Title: NTTDocomo: Xylophone

Name of Artist: Morihiro Harano & Kenjiro Matsuo

Description: The video is a commercial by DOCOMO for the Touch Wood SH-08C, a limited edition phone of which there are only 15,000 being made. NTT DoCoMo created the Touch Wood phone in part to help the Japanese forestry industry, which is struggling due to a drop in demand for timber. By combining many pieces of wood, they were able to make a long, downhill track that was able to reproduce Bach’s Cantata 147, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. The instrument is tilted, and a wooden ball would roll down its length, producing sounds as it hit the wooden tiles. At the shoot, a sound engineer held a gun-microphone and chased the ball.

Morihiro Harano, creative director at Drill Inc., wanted to emphasize the feature by evoking the tactile sensation of wood—to awaken the common feeling everyone has that there is something good about wooden texture. Harano decided to magnify the sight and sound of wood in the ad, in the hope of making it feel almost touchable.